In my last post, I alluded to the Little Green Men, the name Ukrainians give to the suspiciously well armed pro Russian rebels that popped up both in Crimea and the east of Ukraine. They are so called because despite being a supposedly rag, tag spontaneous group of freedom fighters, they all wear perfectly matching green uniforms, carry high tech weaponry and are completely devoid of any insignia on their fatigues. Either there had been a closing down sale at the local Millets or they were in fact Russian special forces.
At the height of the tensions, with little green men sprouting up everywhere, there was a solid, business like knock at our door. Often I avoid opening the door when Tania is out, not so much through any particular fear, more the worry that despite studying Russian for a year, I might end being sold double glazing or a conservatory. The latter would be a nightmare because we live on the second floor.
Anyway I am rambling, back to the point, the knock at the door. I cautiously open the heavy Soviet portal to our apartment to be confronted by two, not so little but defiantly green men, Ukrainian military to be precise. They barked a name at me in Russian. I replied that that wasn’t me. The gist of the conversation was that this person was registered in our apartment and had been called up to fight the little green men. Fortunately my Russian in a thickly laced south London accent managed to persuade them that it wasn't me and that I had lived here for three years and they realised that a portly Englishman with a gamy knee was probably not going to make great inroads into rebel held territory. And so a long trip in the back of a truck holding a Kalashnikov was avoided, it was supplanted with a very shot trip to the toilet with a rapid bowl movement.